Glen Campbell boasts senior management, Board Director and Chief Executive positions at some of the world’s foremost strategic branding companies including: Clemenger/BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. “Whether it’s a commercial or personal brand you want to build, you must dig deep into the heart of the story and define it with the stuff that evokes emotional connectivity.” What stuff? Core values, personality traits, vital characteristics and raison d’etre.
Glen has amazing credentials. Board Director and Chief Executive of companies including Clemenger/BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. Please welcome the one and only, presenting at Soul Sessions, Australian, Glen Campbell!
I guess tonight what we’re gonna do is, what I’m gonna try and do is talk to you about this whole idea of, you know, self knowledge. And I’m gonna take it from a business perspective first, right? So I’m gonna sort of fall back to those advertising days when we spent a lot of time with clients and we go through this sort of exercise. We’d talk about the identity of their business. We’d talk about the brand and we’d try and understand what the brand meant. We’d explore the whole concept of what this company wanted to be because at the end of the day this company wants to be a brand. Agencies talk about brands. This company wants to be a brand because what they want to do is sell more stuff, right? And brands do that better than anything else. And I think a brand is this, right? A brand is quite simply a promise. Brands have a promise. They promise something. And when you have a promise that is understood and then you deliver that promise or exceed the delivery of that promise then you probably got a successful brand.
And tonight if everybody’s interested in exploring the depths of being a personal brand, then you as an individual who is looking to be a personal brand maybe you should start thinking about precepts of that, what defines that, what does it mean? Because you know, you can always tell, my view is you can always judge people not by what they say and brands by not what they say, but what they do. One of the biggest issues with brands in my experience has always been that the promise and the intent is not always what the customer experiences. There’s a disconnect isn’t there?
So we talk about this in the terms of being a brand. Yourself a personal brand, so therefore, don’t you need to understand who you are first, make your promise and deliver on it. In fact why don’t you just over-deliver. Because when you over-deliver people get emotionally connected with you, don’t they? In my view of branding is really developing just powerful emotional connections with people. Consistently powerful, positive emotional connections. Emotional connectivity is a powerful thing. Positive emotional connectivity especially when it’s consistent, when it’s fresh, when it’s exciting, when it’s seductive, when it’s enjoyable. That to me is what a brand, a powerful brand is all about. Whether it’s a business or whether it’s a personal brand, really doesn’t make any difference, does it? But you really gotta understand what that brand is. And this whole idea of sort of emotional connectivity of people being, you know, we’re all just bags of emotional energy aren’t we really?
The psychological theory out there is quite simple. We act and behave in response to emotional stimulus. And then what we do is use our rational mind to substantiate why we’ve done what we’ve done. And purchasing behavior is the same isn’t it? Because we go out there and we buy things emotionally. We are emotional energy, we are emotional creatures. Thank God for that! It’s good! There’s nothing wrong with it. But we act emotionally as a result of just about anything. We buy emotionally as well.
So, you know, one of my favorite stories when I started working in advertising at Clemenger in Brisbane, and the boss is John Ganzi, absolutely lovely man, God rest his soul now. John gets me into his big corner office, it’s beautiful and he says to me…
“So mate you understand how this game works?”
And I said, “well I think so.”
“Well let me help you out a little bit. He said “come over here, come over here, come over here“
So he takes me over to the window, we look down, “see that car down there? That Mercedes Benz?”
And I said, “yep”
He said, “It’s my car. Why do you reckon I brought that car?”
And I said, “Well I don’t know Jon”
And he said, “I’ll tell you why I brought that car. Because that car is the finest in German engineering. That car has a safety cell. Right? If there’s a crash, more often than not, I’ll survive. If it’s a bad crash I’ll probably survive. It’s german engineering at its best. Its got a seven speaker sound system. Its got ABS braking. Its got side intrusion beams. This car has got everything. Its got more shoulder in it. Its got leg room. Its got bigger boot space.”
And I went, “all right!”
And he said, “that’s not why I brought the car. I brought that car because I look goddamn good in that car. So I brought the car because that car makes a statement about me. When I drive down the street in that car people are gonna look at me and they’re gonna go, that man is successful. This is making a statement about who I am. I brought this car purely based on for emotional reasons. I understand all that stuff because after tI brought the car I read the brochure. So I could tell people like you I didn’t buy that car because I look good.”
And he created a very valuable understanding for me in this business, and he said, you know Glen one of the big insights you gotta understand about this business is that people buy emotionally. So we got to appeal to them emotionally. A connection. We want to create an emotional connection and a response from people. And if we can do that better than anybody else, if we can promise that that’s the way they’ll feel, and we can deliver it, we win. We will outdo our competitors and we will create better brands.
Now over 20 years in this business, you know, working for a lot of great agencies and all other great pieces of business and a lot of business that are not so great. I had, I found that all of my clients were asking the same 3 questions, same 3 questions, always the same 3 questions. How do I attract more clients? How do I get them to pay when I want them to pay? I don’t want a discount. I don’t want to sell terms. I don’t want to do any of those things. I just want them to pay what I want them to pay. Which I think is fair. And then how do I keep them engaged and loyal? These are the 3 questions.
So think about it from your personal branding point of view. Think about. How do I get more opportunities? How do I get them to pay me what I’m worth? The salary or whatever it is. If you’re in a business for yourself you wanna charge people, you wanna be paid for what you’re worth. And then how do I keep them engaged? And so you look at these 3 questions and you say well, how do you do that if you sort of don’t understand who you are? How do you engage with somebody in a meaningful way? My sort of view was if people really got a good handle on who they are and have thought about it, who they’re comfortable with being, being themselves. This I know me and I am going to be me. And I’m happy with me. I’m clear with me. I understand, I have self knowledge about me. And so therefore my view is I am going to be true to myself. Whether you like it or not. Whether you like me or not. And it’s just too bad if you don’t because I’m clear about who I am. And that’s important to me.
The interesting thing, going back to a business perspective, because I’m gonna jump back and forth here. From business, to you, back to business again and you’ll see that they’re pretty much both the same anyway it doesn’t really matter. Because businesses, here’s another big insight for you, the most successful businesses create brands that are more like people. You do the brand personification exercise right? If this brand were a person, if this brand were a car, if this brand were an animal, if this brand were a celebrity, if this brand were a real person that was sitting beside me here at this board meeting, who would this brand be? Would it be male or female? What sort of personality characteristics it would have? What would the values be? You know, what would it be wearing, how it would be taking, what kind of education it would’ve had? You know, let’s understand.
People connect and emotionally connect with people better than objects, don’t they? This is emotional interplay with people. So brands want to be like people. And the other side of the insight is, if the most successful brands are more like the most successful people, then the most successful people are probably more like the most successful brands, aren’t they? You know, I know a lot of people whoa are well branded. They’re very clear. Now you don’t read about Hugh Jackman in the gossip column do you? Because this guy’s pretty clear about who he is. So is Richard Branson. So is Oprah. Oprah knows who her brand is. She’s clear. All you got to do is go to her website you can find out what her values are. You can find out her core purpose is in life. It’s all there. She talks about it all the time. And people ask. That want to know. What makes this woman tick? Where are her boundaries? What’s her definition? Who is she? Because I sort of like to know who she is so I can find out a way of, sort of working out who I am. Unfortunately, a lot of people trade in to being trying to be Oprah. Well you can’t be Oprah because Oprah is Oprah. What you really need to do is just be yourself instead of trying to be somebody else. But people are looking for that. They’re looking guidance. They are looking for the road. They are looking for the sign post aren’t they? They are trying to find out how do I get there? How do I find out who I am? What is it?
I’ll get back to this business, the difference between, what I feel the difference between a business and a brand or a person and a brand. And businesses that aren’t brands, that are just businesses, they’re unfocused. Sort of all over the place. Brands have clarity. Businesses focus on process. If you’re a person you’re focused on being busy. Brands focus on the customer, businesses focus on profit. Brands focus on people. Businesses focus, struggle to get customers, right? It’s a struggle to get customers. Great brands, the customers find you. Businesses struggle to have customer loyalty. They got this massive churn factor all the time. People are moving in and moving out of their business all the time. It’s a massive issue. Brands don’t have that problem, they have massive customer loyalty. Businesses have constant margin erosion. Got a discount right? Have a look in the newspaper right now, everybody’s selling the farm. Harvey Norman, man this guy doesn’t sell stuff he sells finance. So his entire business revolves around how far out he can go in trading terms. And you know, the further more, further out that he goes, the more I think he’s desperate. This is the stress advertising. This guy’s not, hasn’t got a brand. What he’s doing is selling terms. He’s actually selling GE credit cards or something like that.
So, you know, and I look at other great brands like department stores where there’s just a sale, after sale, after sale, after sale. 20% off, 30% off. One of my friends is one of the top guys on one of those big department store businesses, and he said something to me the other day that I thought was just unbelievable enlightening. He said, Glen, the new 20% is 40%. And I went, really? He said, yeah. He said, it’s distressing buddy, we just gotta keep giving margin away to get customers in. And he said, the big concern we’ve got is the new 40% is gonna be 60% because they won’t come in, unless we’re on sale they just won’t come in. And I said, but don’t you see what you’re doing? You’re educating people to come in only when you’re on sale. They wont shop there unless you’re on sale buddy. So you’re your own worst enemy. Go back to your brand and start creating some value for who you are and what you stand for and the experience people have when they come in. Because the experience is not there anymore and you’re just selling discounts.
So in tough times people reckon they’ve got to default to something else and people do the same thing who don’t understand who they are. They’re defaulting to somebody or something else, you know? In psychological terms, if Alistair were here he’d say you’re defaulting to what your parents told you or imprinted on you when you were a kid. So all that imprinting and all that stuff that you learned, you default back and that’s who you are. Well it’s not. Absolutely is not who you are. You are who you want to be and who you get clear about.
So, my question, understanding what the difference between a business and a brand is, are you a business or are you a brand? Think about it for a minute. Do you exemplify the characteristics of a business in the way you run your life? Or do you exemplify more the characteristics of a brand? Some of the best brands I’ve worked with are brands that have this laser focus. They just know who they are. They’re very clear about what the big picture is. They’re clear about their vision. They have a vision. They’ve thought about it. They’ve articulated what it is, this big vision. And you know, I got to tell you, most great brands don’t have a big vision that revolves around how much money they’re gonna make. It’s not even of interest to them. There’s something else at play. There’s something bigger. Something more important. Something more motivating than that, isn’t there? And they’re clear about their purpose. They’re just clear about it. Purpose. One of my favorite purpose statements is from a brand Walt Disney, and their purpose is to make people happy. This is why they get up in the morning. Now it doesn’t matter what business they’re in. Whether they’re in the movie business or the soft plush toy business or whether they’re in the business of creating games, or theme parks. That’s not the business they’re in. They’re in the business of happiness. They’re in the happiness business. They’re clear about their personality and their attitude and their beliefs. They’ve worked it out.
So, if great brands spend the time going through the process of working that out and if you want to be a personal brand, why shouldn’t you do it as well? Why shouldn’t you spend the time, I mean after all it is you, right? What’s more important to you than you? I would suggest to you nothing. Because if you don’t get you right, what else are you gonna do right? Brands do orchestrate their own destiny according to who they are. I can name you several brands who act like that right now. They don’t ask their customer’s opinion. They really know what they’re about.
Working on the Woolworths Supermarkets brand when I was at Leo Burnett, and we went through this phase where, and let me state the ground rules, share price for Woolworths is $3.87. I remember distinctly when we started this whole campaign. And we developed this new fresh food people campaign that was quite powerful stuff. And I was working with a guy by the name of Grant O’Brien at the time and Grant of course now is going to be the CEO elect in September I believe. So Grant and I were working together and were trying to work out how we can make sure that what we promise as a brand, how we behave as a brand, that is the Woolworths Supermarket brand, the whole 120,000 staff agree to. We gotta get those guys on board as well. So we launched the Woolworth Supermarket campaign to a 120,00 staff before we launch it to the market. Now why did we do that? Because those people are the brand. They’re the face of the brand, right? And every supermarket everywhere, if those guys don’t keep the promise of the brand, then the brand is disconnecting isn’t it? So of course we went out there to 120,000 people and we got them to understand what the fresh food people is as a brand. And we did the whole road show and everything and it was an amazing success of course when we launched that brand at that time, that brand was being very true to itself. That brand was making a promise. The staff and the customers understood what that promise was and the brand kept the promise. And over-delivered on the promise. In those days, this is the way it was. It over-delivered on the promise.
So what happens? They crush their competitors, amazingly successful, exponential growth. Share price 3 and a half years later, $18.00 plus. Incredible brand success. Incredible brand success because of a couple of things. Everybody knew what the brand was. Everybody knew what the personality was, what the values were, what the purpose was, what the vision was for this supermarket chain. They got it. Unless brands consistently remain true to themselves and deliver their promise or exceed the delivery of their promise then brands change, don’t they? So brands, they could be up, they could be down. Just like people who aren’t clear about who they are as a brand. When you’re clear about yourself you’re in the zone right? When you’re not clear about yourself, you’re not. You’re sort of confused. You’re in this cloud. You don’t know who you are, how you should be reacting to things. You don’t know somebody says something, should I be with you? Should I be with you? Who am I with? Well don’t be with anybody, be with yourself. And to be with yourself, you gotta be clear about yourself. Powerful brands are clear. They have clarity and everybody gets it.
So I’ll give you another story. A powerful brand. So it’s March 25th, 2010, George Straight, Sydney. There’s a launch of a new product. A press release is sent out. A press release is sent out. No teaser campaign, no advertising campaign, a press release is sent out. This is a launch of a new product. So 50 hours out, people are lining up outside that store because they want that product. They don’t care how much that product is. This product is not even a new product. It’s a line extension product. It’s the iPad 2! Not 1, 2! It’s not a new brand. It’s not a new product. It’s not revolutionary. Its got a few new features. But this brand is so powerful that people are lining up 50 hours out to get their hands on this thing. You ask them what it costs they don’t care. They don’t know. They want it, they got to have it. People are an amazingly positively, emotionally connected with this brand. You think that I use the word love unadvisedly, they love this brand. They love the brand. People have brands they love, don’t they? I mean you gotta have at least a couple of brands in your life where you go, it’s just not negotiable. I will not buy another brand. I cannot betray my relationship with that brand. It’s my brand.
Now do you reckon these guys have got a powerful brand. Do you reckon they know who they are? Do you reckon they seduce? Do you reckon they excite? Do you reckon they inspire? Well of course they do. People love this brand. If a company with 50,000 people can all march to the same values, can all believe in the same vision, can all have the same attitude to themselves and their customers. Pretty powerful stuff, isn’t it? But it’s not easy to do and what we’re talking about tonight is brand you. Not brand 50,000 people… Brand you! There’s just one of you. How hard can it be?
So then we go to the next thing, we go to the pretenders, right? So, there’s pretenders out there! And this is what I was talking about before. I was talking about businesses that have intent, that have developed their understanding of the brand but there’s a disconnect. Their intent and their promise is not translated into what people experience with them. You could have an intent about who you want to be but unless you deliver it, unless the actions agree and are congruent with the intent then you’re in trouble aren’t you? You’re not being true to yourself. You don’t really understand yourself. You’re a little bit schizophrenic or at least confused at best. Brand pretenders are everywhere. They’re certainly more prolific than real brands. People pretenders are certainly more prolific than real people brands aren’t they? Because when you hear people talk and you see what they do and it doesn’t line up. You sort of go, well that’s, you don’t have a clue of who you are because you’re actually doing something else and you’re not being true to what you said to me.
I just want to show you some visuals that will start to bring all this stuff together and have you understand what I’m sort of doing. What I’m trying to do to give you a bit of a blueprint. And I’m not saying this is right and this is the absolute way it should be but it’s gonna give you something to think about. Some parameters maybe to think about. This is a traditional model that I developed for this brandheart approach. I got three steps in this model. The first step is understanding. It’s the four Cs right, company, category, competitor and consumer. This is just understanding the landscape for brands. You sort of got to go out there and know the game you’re playing. You got to know what’s going on. And then there’s the brandheart. Brandheart to me, it’s heart. It’s passion. This is what it’s all about. What;s the pulse what’s the beat. What makes your heart beat the strongest. Because it is about the heart and there’s some aspects to that. So we talk about attributes, personality, values, purpose and benefits. I’ll talk more about these in a minute. Then of course we go to the other side which is off the screen. What we’re talking about there is connection. With brands we talk about what their product is, what their price is, what their place is, the 7 Ps. Their packaging, their people, their processes and their promotion.
So how does that look? We’re gonna create some definition. So attributes are really, what’s the make up? It’s those things that John Ganzi was talking about with his car. Its got seven airbags. Its got this, its got that. Their features, they’re sort of what the make up is. Then there’s the benefits. It’s what people gain. What’s in it for them? What are they gonna get out of this? There’s got to be a benefit, hasn’t there? And most advertising today just talk about benefits. Does it in a way that tries to emotionally connect you with the brand. Then there’s the personality. It’s like, how does this brand express itself? How do you express yourself? What are your personality traits? How does this affect your tone and manner? What’s your demeanor? How do you carry yourself? Isn’t it important to know that stuff? I believe it is. Then there’s your values. What are your essential tenets. What do you stand for? What do you hold dear? What’s fundamental to you? And of course there’s the reason for being. What’s my reason for being? Why do I get up in the morning? Then there’s this resonating pulse, right? There’s this thing in the middle. Traditional sort of advertising. Strategists sort of call this the DNA or the essence. I believe the resonating pulse is more powerful. What makes the heart beat the strongest? That’s what connects. Hearts connect.
So this is what an exercise we did when I was at Love for Tourism Tasmania and we’ll just go to two things. We’ll go to the core values, warmth, authenticity, originality and innocence. So this is the values of this state, this island, in a tourism sense. What’s their reason for being? Inspiring island experiences. What’s their brand heart? Magical rejuvenation. When we went down there and we wandered around we just talked to people that were leaving the island after 10 days or so. We said, what do you feel? It’s just magical. This place is magical! How do you feel? I just feel like I’m in touch with myself again. I feel like I’m in touch with the planet again. I feel like I’ve reconnected with something that’s important to me.
Let’s look at another one, The Fin Review. So we showed this brand heart to all the journalists, to all the employees and all the marketing guys, and the management. They all looked and went, yup that’s us. You have nailed it. That’s who we are. that’s what we stand for. Then you look at the advertising, of course, the advertising is a beautiful representation of this brand’s attitude. This brand’s personality. What this brand does. What’s in it for you? What would you get? This is our promise. The publication has just got to deliver hasn’t it? And the publication delivers.
So lets look at a brand heart for a person. This is a personal brand. This is this guy’s personal brand. Richard Branson. You look at Richard and you just look at his attributes, right, now is this Richard? I think it’s Richard. Suave, stylish yet approachable. Provocative yet personal. Embraces change, loves to dream yet is grounded. Solution focused. Lives to the fullest and for the moment. Works hard and plays hard. What’s his purpose? To make a difference in this world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this guy where he said I just want to make a difference in this world. That’s why I get up in the morning. I want to make a difference in this world. He didn’t say I want to get up and be a billionaire. He said I want to make a difference. And you know, you look at these Virgin brands. His Virgin brands are a mirror of the man, aren’t they? This brand has taken his personality. I’ll tell you something. If this guy got hit by a truck tomorrow, the brand would go on and so is that personality.
Let’s look at Oprah. Hard-working, unconventional, social & personal acceptance. These are her attributes. Intelligent, spiritual, moral, hopeful. She’s a truth seeker! This is her attribute. This is just what makes her tick. What’s her brand heart? Live your best life. You don’t have to go too far or look too hard to work out what this woman stands for and what her personal brand is.
What I’ve shown you today is one way of looking at who you are and what defines you. Because it would be good to know wouldn’t it? You can achieve an approach to developing your way to overcome the challenges in the world and to be your best self just by understanding yourself, can’t you? And the other key point is, if you look at brands like Apple, and you look at brands who have got 50,000 people. And you look at brands like Virgin who got 18,000 people. And you look at brands like Woolworths Supermarket who got 120,00 people. Imagine the amount of work that needs to be done to get those brands to keep their promise. To get those brands to understand all their employees and their customers to understand who they are so that you could connect with somebody and understand who they are. And the point is isn’t it so much easier to do just one person rather than 120,000. My view is it’s a whole lot easier.
This is my money back guarantee for tonight, right? This is my money back guarantee. My money back guarantee is this. If you do the work, you’ll get the results. If you do nothing, you’ll get nothing. Has everybody heard of Sun Tzu? He wrote The Art of War. Sun Tzu said, if ignorant in both your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril. So my answer is don’t be ignorant. Especially of yourself. Thank you.